Every now and again grassroots football throws up a truly inspirational story. Clydebank FC Under 19s are currently enjoying the season of their lives as they prepare for their first ever Scottish Cup final, along with opportunities to win numerous other local honours. However, behind the scenes one player has been quietly going about his business. He's played for the same club his whole life and when dealt a career threatening injury blow, he decided to coach the youngsters at the club, until he was ready to bounce back nearly two years later. Gillen Reid caught up with him to find out more...
Can you introduce yourself?
I'm Rory McInnes, I'm 18 years old. I've just finished my final year at Clydebank High School and I am hoping to go to university to study sports development. I play for Clydebank FC and been coaching the 2010's age group with some of my teammates. I've had an injury that has kept me out of the game for the last two years.
How did you end up at the club?
I joined a local football team Antonine when I was 6 or 7 years old but whilst there I played for the team that my current coach, Scott Carson, set up to get me and his son and my friend Jack more playing time. At the time we were considered the second team but we eventually became better than them and beat them. After Antonine we moved to Kilpatrick where we continued to play under Scott and a few other coaches, most notably Paul Mooney. It was then onto Milngavie Wanderers where I enjoyed my best football under Scott and Paul who were subsequently joined by Brian Carmichael. He encouraged me to believe in myself as I hadn't been playing to my potential. After Milngavie Wanderers, me and a few other of the long serving players were asked about the potential of playing under the junior side Clydebank FC. With the history of the Senior side it was a fantastic opportunity and we're now two years at our new club.
What is it that keeps you loyal?
There's no other team that could offer me what the coaches and my teammates given me at Clydebank. My coaches have shown a lot of loyalty to me so I feel as though I should repay them with my commitment. There's been times were I thought I maybe should leave but after a long hard think I realised although there's been hard times the good times have always followed. The coaches have always been able to bring in good players and trophy cabinet has enjoyed plenty of additions as a result.
What was the injury?
At first the injury wasn't diagnosed so I was trying to continue to play but every time I would try to play the pain would come back. Eventually I was sent for scans and the doctors discovered that it was a hairline fracture that spread across the lower vertebrae in my back. I was told that I wasn't to kick a ball for around a year until it healed. Eventually it healed in November of 2016 and with a lot of help from the physios, especially Scott Macauley, who really helped me focus on getting back to fitness.
How glad are you to be back?
I'm extremely glad to be back playing again, it's made me appreciate playing and that there is more to life than just football. Hopefully I'll be able to put the injury behind me and kick on and hopefully do something in my football career.
A big thanks to Rory for taking some time out to chat to us today.